Thursday, May 31, 2007

Wall Street Journal Infiniti Ad

For those who are interested, feel free to check out my profile in the Infiniti ad campaign that appears on page A3 of today's Wall Street Journal. I think the creative team did a terrific job of capturing what I do and why I do it in the space allowed. (Although, there is no way I'm complaining about being included in a one-half page ad in this outstanding newspaper!). Here's hoping this terrific exposure creates even greater awareness of this important topic and population, one that needs to be covered more often and in greater depth by the mainstream media.

If you don't have your own copy of the WSJ, note that I will put up the direct link to the ad once I have it.

Huge thanks to Infiniti and its creative team/agency for recognizing the value of what I do, and for sharing a part of my story in their cool weekly ad campaign.
Breakthrough Parenting for Children with Special Needs: Raising the Bar of Expectations

Monday, May 21, 2007

Shrek the Third Missed the Mark

Okay, I admit that I went to see Shrek the Third this weekend, even though I don't have any young children, and I know that it knocked Spideyman from his skyscraper perch because the entertainment news is all over that reality.

But I don't get what the fuss is all about. I'm not trying to be an ogre with a bad attitude, but I went to see this movie to be entertained. I expected to laugh loudly along with all those adorable chatty kids in the theater, especially the curly haired little cutie sitting next to me who asked boldly what I was doing sitting next to her daddy?! I assured her I was only there to see Shrek!

I was expecting the easy laughs that came with the first two movies, laughter that made me leave the theater still smiling and feeling fine. But this time, not so much laughter or enough movie-goer satisfaction. My husband and I agreed just a short time into the plot that this was going to be a long movie...and we should have visited the restrooms first!

As a writer, I found the writing tired, the plot repetitive, and the jokes too few and far between. What happened to all the great humor relief provided by Donkey and Puss 'N Boots in the first two installments? Why did they save this winning duo's best work for the closing credits- a highlight of the movie?!! Give me more cat and donkey interaction and less ogre, please!

If you're looking for a fairly harmless movie to take your kids to, especially if you like noisy movie theaters so you don't have to worry so much about keeping your child quiet (I remember having that concern many times when my son was young and noise/touch sensitive!), then go see it. But you might want to leave your great expectations at home.

Unless the writers get their creative mojo back on track, Shrek may have run it's magical course.

But that's just my humble opinion...
Breakthrough Parenting for Children with Special Needs Raising the Bar of Expectations

Parent Letters

Huge and long-overdue thanks to all you terrific moms and dads and other assorted family members who have written me during the past year to tell me how my book is changing your lives, and the lives of your children.

One of the best parts of my work is connecting with other parents all over the country. I wrote this work for you, so it's been a blast connecting with so many of you these past months. I've listened to your heartfelt stories in major cities and the suburbs, in neighborhood cafes and airports, in television and radio stations as I prepared to be interviewed, and even in bookstore bathrooms!

We've shared tissues and tears and laughter and big hugs. Your words of struggle and success have touched me deeply, and provided me with the kind of powerful inspiration and motivation that allows me to continue my passionate work in light of my son's death.

Too many times your heartfelt words have reminded that as a nation, we have a long way to go to better serve this important population and their dedicated, often overwhelmed families. Like many of you, I'm doing what I can to help change that harsh reality. There is more than enough work to go around. Take on the piece that you can.

One amazing reality has become incredibly clear to me: There are lots of good folks taking on the challenges of special needs parenting with no experience or training, and doing so with remarkable determination and guts, and a whole lot of love for their children, no matter how tough the challenges those children present. I salute each and every one of you for the battles you take on each day for your children, especially when those demands go way beyond just being tough.

As I take a bit of breather and lighten up my travel schedule this summer to recover from the hectic pace of the past year (and to work on my tan!) I will be sharing some of your thoughts, including about my book. Thanks to those who have already shared their words and their permission.

If you want a forum to share your special needs parenting successes and topics for discussion, please email me through the form on my website, but no attachments, please. I won't open them. Put your message/photos in the body of the email. I'll do my best to share your words in the hope they will support others in their daily special needs challenges. You will increase your chances of seeing your wisdom appear in print if you stay brief and concise in your emails.

In the meantime, stay strong and focused. Keep laughing!
And give your child an extra big hug for me.
Breakthrough Parenting for Children with Special Needs: Raising the Bar of Expectations

Monday, May 14, 2007

A Belated Happy Mother's Day

Dear Moms!

Forgive me!

I meant to say Happy Mother's Day to all of you yesterday on what was the official day of celebration. But my own celebrating got in the way!

So here is my slightly late tribute to all those hard-working moms, especially those who take on the challenges of addressing a child's special needs. What an amazing bunch of worker bees you are-- too often underappreciated and undervalued, and certainly underpaid. Yet what you do each day is critically important to the healthy growth and development of the world's children.

It's a mighty big job, with big responsibilities. You must endure the sometimes harsh judgement by others certain that the job could have/should have been done better. Motherhood is not for the faint of heart...especially when your child has special needs.

As I've traveled the country extensively the past year promoting my book, I have been honored and blessed to meet some of the most amazing women. They are passionate, gutsy moms who are facing their children's challenges head with deep love and amazing determination. I believe that mothers who work hard to raise their children with (or without) special needs to feel loved, valued and a true part of this world are the best moms that anyone will find anywhere. They inspire me. Some even make it look super easy. You and I know darn well that it's anything but.

Well-deserved kudos for a job well done can be tough to come by much of the year, making Mother's Day extra special. My own mother passed away just a few months after my son was born. Talk about lousy timing... There were so many moments during those early parenting challenges that I could have used her support and wisdom. Still could.

Many years have come and gone, but I still miss my mom. There's nothing quite like having a loving, supportive, and good smelling mommy in your corner, especially when life takes a particularly tough, unexpected (even stinky) life turn. If mom's a good cook, that's even better! Try hard never to take your mom for granted. Savor all her hugs and kisses and unwarranted advice, and her cooking (for better or worse), while she's still here. Because a mother's absence, and the resulting loud silence, may be realized much sooner than you expect, and you can never change that harsh reality.

My hat's off to each and everyone of you for the demanding, sacred role that you play in the lives of your children each day. My applause might be a day late, but then I believe moms should be recognized and celebrated every single day for the remarkable parenting loads they carry so well. Rather than being late, consider my words a well-deserved extension of yesterday's all-too-short celebration!

Huge thanks for all you do, because Moms Rock!

Happy Mother's Day!
Breakthrough Parenting for Children with Special Needs: Raising the Bar of Expectations

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Autism & Aspergers w/Peter Finch KFOG

I'm back from a terrific San Francisco campaign, and still playing catch up! I will blog more about those incredible experiences, and some other important recent world events, soon.

Today, I want to share with you a terrific program on Autism & Asperger's Syndrome hosted/produced by Peter Finch of KFOG. Peter is a popular radio personality in the Bay Area who has an 18-year-old son with Asperger's. He's been doing a terrific job of supporting and covering this topic in the media and in his community for some time. Peter is helping create priceless awareness of special needs, especially about ASD.

That's parent & dad power at work!

Peter's program, The Beat of the Bay, aired this morning and it includes an interview with me. But that is just one part of what I find to be an informative, energizing program on the challenges of ASD and special needs parenting. I know I learned some exciting new things. I think it's worth a listen. Here's the link (click on: May 5th/Autism and Aspergers)

You can also view my appearance on the popular new San Francisco Show (simulcast on internet worldwide) The View from the Bay with Spencer Christian and Janelle Wang, two terrific hosts! Here's that link!

I'll be blogging more on all that other news soon.
Breakthrough Parenting for Children with Special Needs: Raising the Bar of Expectations